Burning question: Why councils are sending low-grade plastics for incineration

With some councils suggesting they will stop collecting certain types of low-grade plastics for recycling, Conor McGlone investigates how the lack of a market for the PET found in pots, tubs and trays is leading to increasing EfW levels in the UK.

As energy-from-waste (EfW) rates in the UK continue to rise, a survey published this week suggests local councils are being forced to incinerate low-grade recyclable plastics as a result of the Chinese ban on the import of post-consumer plastics.

China introduced its ban in December 2018 and while the UK initially turned to countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam and Poland, these countries have since introduced tougher import restrictions and import bans.

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